What do you see when you look in the mirror? When you catch a vision of you on a reflected surface? Do you smile, smirk or recoil? How are ‘you’ represented to you?
Your answers will tell you how you see yourself, your level of self esteem. I would hope that everyone who answers those questions has positive feedback, but if i’m to use my past self as an example, I know that won’t be the case.
Self Esteem forms one of the first stages of transcending the self. When we are born into society we have to let go of who we are temporarily, in order to learn the ways of our communities for growth and survival. When we become adults, we are supposed to start the transition, moving away from the childish stage towards remembering who we are and how we want to show up in the world.
Many of us falter at this point, remaining as children in an adult’s body – immature. There are a multitude of reasons why this happens, but the main one is, our sense of self was stripped away and replaced by a far inferior version, locking us into a loop so difficult to escape. There is a reason for this, but that’s for another time.
You can be comfortable in your job, comfortable in your relationships, but if you lack self esteem, you’re merely existing for the pleasure and purpose of others.Tash Gardner
Self esteem requires you to first respect yourself, walk taller, speak louder, step into your talents and create the best version of you, unapologetically. How do you know who you are if all you have to look at is a ‘you’ that’s just a weird mashup of others?
As women, we are overlooked, told what to do, how to do it and when to do it. As women in the Afro Community, in addition to the above we are oppressed, yet held to a standard not even the creator of that standard can achieve.
This copy is a reminder to you, this is your life, society can make rules and set standards, but it is ultimately your choice to accept and uphold them. As a woman, a natural creator, the onus is on you to set your own standard, create your lane and own it.
Yes, we want recognition from others, we want others to see us and appreciate what we do, this is why some of us copy others. Whilst nothing is wrong with copying what others do, make it your own – take it, add your own twist and sprinkle you into it.
Another point about recognition is this, when you stand out, people don’t know what to make of you, it is so rare for someone to stand out, it polarises people. Therefore, whilst you may want recognition and think being you is too far out and people won’t like it, let’s remember Harriet Tubman for a minute.
Harriet was a wanted woman when she was alive, there’s no denying she stood out with her actions, but she did what she had to do for the sake of herself and others. Now Mrs Tubman is set to grace one of the most coveted spots in America, the $20 bill.
People tend to appreciate things in retrospect. Think of Nikola Tesla, he was brilliant at what he did, he created his inventions and was lauded over, until he decided he wanted his inventions to be free so everyone could benefit, then he became a pariah. That didn’t stop him inventing and penning his ideas, he knew who he was and kept being himself – his work is being used today.
There are many other examples of people only being truly recognised and appreciated posthumously, such as Marcus Garvey (Mental Liberator), Mary Kenner (Inventor) etc . So I ask you this, are you going to let the lack of recognition and status stop your growth?
Building Self Esteem Takes A Strong Will
You need a strong will, a belief in yourself which stems from self respect, and a willingness to do what is right for you even if it makes no sense to others. It will take work, you’ll have days when you feel like a pushover, but you’ll recognise it and work on doing better the next time.
None of us are perfect, no one has a blueprint – even if they did it would be for their own life, not yours – we’re all figuring it out as we go along. The most important thing to remember is to keep moving, you wouldn’t stop in the middle of a burning house so why stop when things aren’t going the way you want? Move through it.
Thank you for sticking with me thus far, it’s a heavy topic, and won’t be for everyone. We’re all at different points in our life journey, so if this is for you, great, if it isn’t, that’s okay. I’m not saying it’s easy, i’m saying move towards creating or cultivating the best version of you, we’re waiting to see you!
When I decided to start Holpura, in addition to providing premium quality hair and skincare, because you deserve better, I also wanted to engender a culture of high self esteem. Afro hair and skin has and still is to certain extent, a sideshow for some. It is only in us building and strengthening our self esteem and showing up as we are, not what others say we should be or look like, that we make Us and everything about us ‘normal’. When we accept ourselves, we leave the world no other choice but to accept us.
If you want to discuss more, reach out to me in the comments, the contact us page or our Facebook page, I would love to hear your thoughts.
Until next time,
Be Great x